Protein lunch box cupcakes

I’ve not had much time for extravagant baking in recent months. No big decorations or crazy recipes. Kid’s start of secondary school has prompted a flurry of practical recipes to stop him from getting hungry during the day… Cos his motto these days is simple: ‘I’m hungry!’

These cupcakes were an instant hit. Inspired by The Virtuous Tart, I liked her flour combination but made some significant alterations to make them kid-friendly.

Ingredients

375 ml milk (any kind)

50 ml linseed oil

75 ml olive oil

2 tbs psyllium husk

Smidgin (a few drops) coffee extract

120g sugar (I use unrefined sugar)

50g raw cacao powder

30g protein powder (I use pea)

40g buckwheat flour (or rice)

50g almond meal

40g tapioca or potato starch

35g chickpea or teff flour

1,5 tsp baking powder

Sprinkle of salt

Dark chocolate drops

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

Line 3 muffin tins with paper cases.

Mix all the wet ingredients. Stir them well with the psyllium.

Add all the dry ingredients and mix well.

Then add the chocolate drops. Isn’t this easy!

It’s a fairly runny batter. Divide it over the muffin cases. You’ll get somewhere between 12 and 18 cupcakes.

Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool entirely before eating. Or just try!

Trio of almonds: milk, cake, and cookies

I’ve been making my own nut milk in the past few months, and have had great fun experimenting with what works and… what doesn’t. Making almond milk, though, leaves you with a kind of almond meal at the end, which I’ve been unhappy to throw away. I’ve been drying and freezing batches, but today I wanted to see how I could use it up immediately. And so here is my trio of almond recipes: milk, cake, and cookies.

Almond milk
A few notes: first of all, I’ve used my precious Vitamix to make this milk. You can use a regular blender too, though, without any problems. You’ll be left with more almond meal as the blender won’t grind the almonds as finely as a Vitamix, but that’s not a problem.
Secondly, you can obviously mix and match in your milks. I like almond and coconut the best. I’ve tried making rice milk and didn’t like it as much as the shop bought one, but others might disagree. You can substitute the almonds for other nuts, such as hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, or even gluten-free oats.
Finally, try to buy raw almonds or other nuts. Non-raw ones are pasteurised and further processed.

Ingredients
150g almonds
30g coconut flakes
1.8l of water
50ml of rice syrup
A sprinkle of salt

Method
– Blend almonds, coconut flakes and water in the blender for 3 minutes.
– Pour the mix over into a high pot through a sieve to take the biggest bits out.
– Pour over into a second pot through a cheese cloth or thick kitchen towel so you’re left with a thin, milk like consistency. Thin it further with water if it’s too thin.
– Add rice syrup and a dash of salt to taste.
The milk will keep only for 3-4 days, so keep it in the fridge.

Almond and chocolate cake
This is an adaptation from Harry Eastwood’s delightful blonde recipe from her book Red Velvet and chocolate heartache. But with some significant changes…

Ingredients
100g sugar
3 eggs
250g grated butternut squash
100g almond meal (no need to make it completely dry)
50g buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
A sprinkling of salt
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Instructions
Pre-hear the oven to 180C.
Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl for 5 mins until properly fluffy.
– Add the butternut squash and the dry ingredients apart from the chocolate and beat slowly.
– Pour half of the mix into a pre-oiled metal tin or a silicone tin, put the chocolate pieces on top, and pour he rest of te dough on top.
– Put into the oven for 25 minutes and leave to cool in the tin.
Enjoy with some cream!!

almonds 1.pngAlmond cookies
These are the staple of my kid’s youth. Nutritious and adaptable, I rarely go without them for a week.

Ingredients
100g sugar
200g cold lactose-free (or vegan) butter, chopped into pieces
2 eggs
200g almond meal (or however much you have left)
100g buckwheat flour
200g rice flour (or however much you need to top up the almond flour and buckwheat to 500g)
1 tsp xantham
100g chopped chocolate pieces
100g chopped pecan and/or hazelnuts

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the sugar and sugar in a bowl until fluffy.

Add the eggs and beat again until almost smooth.

Add the other ingredients and kneed together until you get a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough until it is 1cm thick and cut shapes out of it.

Put those onto baking parchment and bake for 17 mins (or slightly more or less – keep an eye on it that they don’t get too brown.)

almonds 2.png

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